“The Oath I Swore . . .” Military Officer Exposes Trump’s Lies Behind Violent Bible Photo-Op
Around 6:30 in the evening on June 1st confused media reporting from the area on Lafayette Square in Washington D.C., began reporting about an inexplicable escalation of violence by Federal law enforcement against seemingly peaceful protesters. The purpose later became clear. It was so President Trump could claim to have bravely come out of his White House basement bunker to get a photo-op with a Bible in front of a Church. Now one of the officers in charge of National Guard soldiers that were standing by is speaking up in sworn testimony.
Major Adam DeMarco, a war veteran and West Point graduate, will testify tomorrow to Congress about the matter but his written pre-statement has already been released. The stunning sworn testimony reveals the depths of depraved lies by this Administration to justify the violence. According to Major DeMarco:
- The protesters were peaceful. At no time did he feel threatened by them.
- He expected to clear the square at 7:00, when a curfew went into effect. He was surprised to get orders to do so over half an hour earlier.
- The supposed warnings to disperse given the peaceful protesters were from too far away, with insufficient amplification, and could not have been heard by the protesters.
- He was told the operation would not use tear gas. He was lied to. He smelled its use during the operation.
- After it was over he was told no tear gas had been used. He was lied to. He smelled it and he found spent tear gas canisters at the location later that evening.
- The operation was conducted by Park Police, Civil Disturbance Units, the Secret Service and “other law enforcement agencies” that Major DeMarco was unable to identify. No National Guard forces were used.
His concluding words are compelling and I will not do Major DeMarco the injustice of summarizing them. I beg you to read them in full. Here they are:
Members of the Committee, the events I witnessed at Lafayette Square on the evening of June 1 were deeply disturbing to me, and to fellow National Guardsmen. Having served in a combat zone, and understanding how to assess threat environments, at no time did I feel threatened by the protestors or assess them to be violent. In addition, considering the principles of proportionality of force and the fundamental strategy of graduated responses specific to civil disturbance operations, it was my observation that the use of force against demonstrators in the clearing operation was an unnecessary escalation of the use of force.
From my observation, those demonstrators — our fellow American citizens — were engaged in the peaceful expression of their First Amendment rights. Yet they were subjected to an unprovoked escalation and excessive use of force.
As the late Representative John Lewis said, “When you see something that is not right, not just, not fair, you have a moral obligation to say something, to do something.”
The oath I swore as a military officer, to support and defend the Constitution of the United States, is a bedrock guiding principle and, for me, constitutes an individual moral commitment and ethical instruction. It is the foundation of the trust safely placed in the Armed Forces by the American people. And it compels me to say something — and do something — about what I witnessed on June 1 at Lafayette Square.